THE TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN - A GUIDE FOR INTERSECTORAL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE ESTRIE REGION TO PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS - Projet partenaire ...

 
THE TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN - A GUIDE FOR INTERSECTORAL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE ESTRIE REGION TO PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS - Projet partenaire ...
THE TRANSITION
            TO KINDERGARTEN
                                              A GUIDE FOR
                                            INTERSECTORAL
                                           STAKEHOLDERS IN
                                           THE ESTRIE REGION
                                              TO PROMOTE
                                             EDUCATIONAL
                                                SUCCESS
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              reussiteeducativeestrie.ca
THE TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN - A GUIDE FOR INTERSECTORAL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE ESTRIE REGION TO PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS - Projet partenaire ...
CREDITS
Author
The Transition to Kindergarten – A Guide for Intersectoral Stakeholders in the Estrie to Promote Educational
Success was produced by Partners for Educational Success Estrie (Projet Partenaires pour la réussite
éducative en Estrie - Projet PRÉE).

Working subcommittee of the regional intersectoral
school transition committee (alphabetical order)

Émelie Beaulieu                       Chantale Laprise                                   Myrthô Ouellette                           Research and texts
Parent                                Professor, childhood education                     Coordinator, local early childhood         Marielle Thibaudeau
                                      program                                            partner groups                             Psychoeducator, project
Edith Bergeron                        Cégep de Sherbrooke                                Haut-Saint-François fou                    manager
Psychoeducator, preschool                                                                de ses enfants                             Projet PRÉE
support                               Marie-Josée Letarte
Commission scolaire des               Program manager, doctorate                         José Rochefort
Hauts-Cantons                         in psychoeducation, professor,                     Preschool pedagogical                      External expert
                                      department of psychoeducation                      consultant                                 Marie-Josée Cotnoir M.A.
Josiane Bergeron                      Université de Sherbrooke                           Commission scolaire de la                  Education, lecturer, department
Coordinator                                                                              Région-de-Sherbrooke                       of psychoeducation
Projet PRÉE                           Éric Martineau                                                                                Université de Sherbrooke
                                      Liaison and development officer                    Marie-Claude Tardif
Linda Bibeau                          Projet PRÉE                                        Director, Maison de la famille
Regional support and liaison                                                                                                        English translation
                                                                                         Les Arbrisseaux
officer                               Félix Morin                                        Regroupement des organismes                Peter Christensen
Avenir d’enfants                      Professor, childhood education                     communautaires Famille de l’Estrie
                                      program                                                                                       Graphic design
Marie-Ève Deslaurier                                                                     Marielle Thibaudeau
                                      Cégep de Sherbrooke                                                                           Tommy Ferland
Pedagogical development                                                                  Psychoeducator, project manager            Graphic designer
consultant                            Catherine Noreau                                   Projet PRÉE                                La Fabrik
Regroupement des Centres de la        Planning, programming, and
petite enfance des Cantons-de-l’Est   research officer, professional
                                      coordination assistant
Karine Hamel
                                      Direction de santé publique, CIUSSS
Preschool pedagogical                 de l’Estrie – CHUS
consultant                                                                                                    We also wish to thank all those who
Commission scolaire de la
Région-de-Sherbrooke                                                                                          took part in the consultation phase.

                                      Support from the ministère de l’Éducation et de                                         Legal deposit
                                      l’Enseignement supérieur (MÉES)                                                         Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du
                                      This guide was made possible with funding from the MÉES’s program                       Québec, 2019
                                      for projects carried out in partnership with the health and social                      Library and Archives Canada, 2019
                                      services system, aimed at meeting the needs of 4–8-year-olds
                                                                                                                              ISBN 978-2-9818110-2-8 (Print version)
                                      and their families during transitions.
                                                                                                                              ISBN 978-2-9818110-3-5 (PDF)

                                                                                                                              Reproduction or downloading is
                                      Support from Townshippers’ Association                                                  authorized for personal or non-
                                      Adaptation and production of this guide into English made possible by                   commercial public use with the following
                                                                                                                              mention: Projet Partenaires pour la
                                      Townshippers’ Association; the Enhancing Regional Community Capacity
                                                                                                                              réussite éducative en Estrie (2019). The
                                      project 2018-2021 is a CHSSN initiative funded by the Government of                     Transition to Kindergarten – A Guide for
                                      Québec, through its Minister of the Secrétariat aux relations avec les                  Intersectoral Stakeholders in the Estrie
                                      Québécois d’expression anglaise.                                                        Region to Promote Educational Success,
                                                                                                                              Magog, 40 pp.

                                                                                                                              This document is available in electronic
                                      About Projet PRÉE                                                                       form in the section on school transition of
                                      Partners for Educational Success Estrie (Projet Partenaires pour la                     the website reussiteeducativeestrie.ca.
                                      réussite éducative en Estrie - Projet PRÉE) is the regional consulting
                                                                                                                              © Projet Partenaires pour la réussite
                                      authority on school perseverance and educational success in the Estrie
                                                                                                                              éducative en Estrie, 2019
                                      region. Its mission is to promote school perseverance and educational
                                      success in young Estriens through the mobilization of inter-level and
                                      intersectoral stakeholders and the development of joint initiatives. For
                                      more information, see our website: reussiteeducativeestrie.ca.

                                                            THE TRANSITION         2        TO KINDERGARTEN
THE TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN - A GUIDE FOR INTERSECTORAL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE ESTRIE REGION TO PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS - Projet partenaire ...
CONTENTS

                               Foreword       .......................................................................................................................................                                                                                                                                        4

                               Why is this guide necessary?                                                                              ..........................................................................................                                                                                          5

                               SECTION 1 : Transition to kindergarten                                                                                                                          ..............................................................                                                                6

                               SECTION 2 : Encouraging family participation                                                                                                                                                           .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

                               SECTION 3 : Scientific knowledge                                                                                                       .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   10

                                   Child   ..........................................................................................................................................                                                                                                                                        12

                                   Family     .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14

                                   Community                           ..........................................................................................................................                                                                                                                            16

                               SECTION 4 : Working collaboratively                                                                                                                     ..................................................................                                                                    20

                               SECTION 5 : Examples of collaborative                                                                                       .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                        26
                               activities in the Estrie region                                                                                             

                               Conclusion          ....................................................................................................................................                                                                                                                                      30

                               APPENDICES                        .............................................................................................................................                                                                                                                               32

                               APPENDIX A: Sectors, institutions, and stakeholders
                               that could be involved in the transition to kindergarten                                                                                                                                                                                    .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    32

                               APPENDIX B: Analysis chart                                                                                .........................................................................................                                                                                           34

                               APPENDIX C: Model collaborative school transition plan                                                                                                                                                                                            .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    36

                               APPENDIX D: Questions to support                                                                                                                                   .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   38
                               intersectoral cooperation and practices

                               References          .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    39

List of acronyms

CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS E Centre intégré                                         DPJE E Youth program department                                                                                                                                                                               MFA E Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés
universitaire de santé et de services sociaux                                    (Direction du programme Jeunesse)                                                                                                                                                                             MRC E Municipalité régionale de comté
de l’Estrie - Centre hospitalier universitaire                                   DSPublique E Public health department                                                                                                                                                                         MSSS E Ministère de la Santé et
de Sherbrooke                                                                    (Direction santé publique)                                                                                                                                                                                    des Services Sociaux
CPE E Educational childcare centre                                               EQDEM E Québec Survey of Child                                                                                                                                                                                Projet PRÉE E Projet Partenaires pour la
(Centre de la petite enfance)                                                    Development in Kindergarten (Enquête                                                                                                                                                                          réussite éducative en Estrie
CSHC E Commission scolaire des                                                   québécoise sur le développement des
                                                                                 enfants à la maternelle)                                                                                                                                                                                      RAME E Réseau d’appui aux familles
Hauts-Cantons                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  monoparentales et recomposées de l’Estrie
CSRS E Commission scolaire de la                                                 ETSB E Eastern Townships School Board
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               RSG E Family daycare manager
Région-de-Sherbrooke                                                             GMF E Family medicine group                                                                                                                                                                                   (Responsable d’un service de garde en
CSS E Commission scolaire des Sommets                                            (Groupe de médecine familiale)                                                                                                                                                                                milieu familial)
                                                                                 HSMLD E Handicaps, social maladjustments                                                                                                                                                                      SIPPE E Integrated Perinatal and Early
DI-TSA-DP E Intellectual disability, autism
                                                                                 or learning difficulties                                                                                                                                                                                      Childhood Services (Services intégrés en
spectrum disorder, physical disability
(Déficience intellectuelle, trouble du spectre                                   MÉES E Ministère de l’Éducation et de                                                                                                                                                                         périnatalité et pour la petite enfance
de l’autisme et déficience physique)                                             l’Enseignement supérieur
DPJ E Child protective services                                                  MELS E Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir
(Direction de la protection de la Jeunesse)                                      et du Sport

                                                                                                     THE TRANSITION                                                 3              TO KINDERGARTEN
THE GOAL OF
                                                                                           THIS GUIDE IS TO
FOREWORD                                                                               PROVIDE INTERSECTORAL
                                                                                        STAKEHOLDERS WITH A
This guide about the transition to kindergarten for intersectoral
                                                                                      RESOURCE TO FOSTER JOINT
stakeholders in the Estrie region was created in follow up to the
2016–2020 strategic alignment efforts of Partners for Educational                     EFFORTS BETWEEN VARIOUS
Success in Estrie (Projet Partenaires pour la Réussite éducative                      SECTORS AND TO IMPLEMENT
en Estrie - Projet PRÉE) to support educational success and                              ACTIVITIES AIMED AT
encourage youth to stay in school. Its goal is to provide intersectoral                   THE TRANSITION TO
stakeholders with a resource to foster joint efforts between various
                                                                                           KINDERGARTEN.
sectors and to implement activities aimed at the transition to
kindergarten.
Projet PRÉE is the regional consulting authority on school perseverance
and educational success in the Estrie region. Its mission is to promote school
perseverance and educational success in young Estriens through the mobilization of
inter-level and intersectoral stakeholders and the development of joint initiatives.
In the winter of 2017, Projet PRÉE conducted a broad consultation among regional and local
partners to identify organizational issues encountered in implementing actions aimed at
supporting the transition to kindergarten of children in Estrie. The findings helped lay the
groundwork for building, with the help of a committee partners, the Regional Action Plan for a
harmonious first school transition 2017-2020.
The regional intersectoral school transition committee then began working on a guide to
encourage the development of a shared vision of the transition to kindergarten. It also hoped
that the guide would shed light on the implementation of school transition activities
based on parameters borne out by research.
This guide is in keeping with the Strategy From Birth To Age 8 – It’s
All About The Children (MÉES, 2018) [1] and is part of a strategy to
ensure that children transition smoothly between educational
environments. It should be considered complementary to the
Guide for Supporting a Successful School Transition (MELS,
MFA, MSSS, 2010) [2] in that it provides a regional flavour.
                                                                                         WHO IS THIS
                                                                                         GUIDE FOR?
                                                                              This guide is intended for community
                                                                            stakeholders involved with children and
                                                                        families, including people working in educational
                                                                          childcare services, schools, health and social
                                                                         services, family community services, municipal
                                                                          services, and any other organization involved
                                                                            with children or parents. The document is
                                                                             aimed at both managers and front-line
                                                                             workers, including teachers, educators,
                                                                             school administrations, social workers,
                                                                                     childcare managers, etc.

                                                 THE TRANSITION         4        TO KINDERGARTEN
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WHY IS THIS GUIDE
NECESSARY?
Since 2010, various documents published in Québec by government agenciesa have stressed
the importance of guiding parents and their children as they enter the school system for the
first time. Schools, educational childcare services, community organizations, and public
agencies have also taken steps to put activities in place to support students entering the
system. Today, many children and parents are benefiting from these activities.
However, despite the progress made over the past 10 years, challenges remain, such
as to:
EE   better reach and support the involvement of children and families who do                                            ACCORDING TO ONE
     not have easy access to services, live in vulnerable circumstances, have not                                         STUDY, BETWEEN
     attended educational childcare services, do not speak French as their mother
     tongue, or come from immigrant backgrounds;
                                                                                                                          8 AND 21 PERCENT
                                                                                                                         OF CHILDREN HAVE
EE   foster a common vision among intersectoral stakeholders;
                                                                                                                         TROUBLE ADAPTING
EE   continue efforts to encourage communication and cooperation among
                                                                                                                            TO SCHOOL. [4]
     intersectoral stakeholders;
EE improve coordination of various activities within territories;
EE improve services to meet the needs of all families by ensuring activities vary
   sufficiently in their intensity and diversity. [3]

Entering school goes quite smoothly for most children; but according to one study, between
8 and 21 percent of children have trouble adapting to school. [4] Moreover, data from the Québec
Survey of Child Development in Kindergarten 2017 (EQDEM) showed that nearly one in three
children (29%) in the Estrie region is vulnerable in at least one developmental domain. [5]
This guide aims to help communities foster joint efforts around the issue of children entering
school for the first time and activities that help this transition go smoothly for children and
parents, in particular for families living in vulnerable circumstances.b

a
    Guide for Supporting a Successful School Transition (MELS, MFA, MSSS, 2010); Brief Improving Early Childhood Education
    And Childcare For Preschool-aged Children (Le Conseil supérieur de l’éducation, 2012) Document Soutenir la préparation à
    l’école et à la vie des enfants issus de milieux défavorisés et des enfants en difficulté (MELS, 2013).
b
    The term “families living in vulnerable circumstances” refers to families in precarious socioeconomic conditions, who are
    more isolated, or who use services infrequently.

                                                                  THE TRANSITION         5        TO KINDERGARTEN
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                SECTION 1

                TRANSITION
                TO KINDERGARTEN

            ?
                WHAT IS THE TRANSITION
                TO KINDERGARTEN?
                The transition to kindergarten refers to a child’s movement from
                home to preschool – in other words, starting school.
                School transition is defined as “a period during which
                children gradually adjust to a new physical, social, and                             STARTING
                human environment.” [6]
                                                                                                  SCHOOL MARKS
                Starting school marks a transition not only for children
                but also for their parents. A smooth start to school for                           A TRANSITION
                both child and parent helps to develop positive attitudes
                and emotions toward the education system, which in turn
                                                                                                   NOT ONLY FOR
                promotes well-being and a sense of safety and trust.                               CHILDREN BUT
                A child’s entry into school is part of an overall dynamic
                that involves many participants. In order for children to
                                                                                                  ALSO FOR THEIR
                adapt to school and experience a sense of well-being,                                PARENTS.
                it is important that all these participants work together.
                This cooperation will provide children with continuity and
                consistency as they progress through school.

                                                THE TRANSITION         6        TO KINDERGARTEN
How is it different from
school readiness?
“School readiness” refers to                “SCHOOL
                                          READINESS”
children’s overall development
                                           REFERS TO
                                                                                        WHEN SHOULD TRANSITION
in various domains (motor,                CHILDREN’S                                    TO KINDERGARTEN ACTIVITIES
social, emotional, cognitive,               OVERALL                                     BE IMPLEMENTED?
and language skills) that                DEVELOPMENT
result from their interactions            IN VARIOUS                                    Transition to kindergarten activities are planned and
with their environment. [4]                DOMAINS.                                     carried out over a period of just over 12 months. These
                                                                                        can be divided into five key moments: [2]
The skills developed by children
of preschool age support them                                                           EE Pre-registration (August to December);

in experiencing social and learning                                                     EE During registration (January to February);
success at school. Children’s overall development, along with                           EE After registration (March to June);
individual and family characteristics and early childhood                               EE Around the time school starts (July to September);
experiences, affect their ability to adapt and their entry into                         EE After school starts (October to November).
school.

                                                                                        What are the objectives of these
                                                                                        activities?
                                                                                        Transition to kindergarten activities have two main goals:
                                                                                        1. To establish, maintain, and improve communication
 THE TRANSITION INTO PRESCHOOL IS                                                          and relations between the child, parent, and
 AN IMPORTANT STAGE IN THE LIVES                                                           intersectoral stakeholders;
 OF CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS.                                                         2. To act on the determinants of a smooth start to
                                                                                           school. [17]
 THIS INITIAL TRANSITION IS THOUGHT
 BY SOME TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT
 ADAPTATIONAL CHALLENGE A CHILD                                                         Who are the transition to kindergarten
                                                                                        activities intended for?
 WILL EXPERIENCE DURING THIS
 PERIOD. [8]                                                                            Transition to kindergarten activities are primarily aimed
                                                                                        at children aged 4 and 5 who will soon be starting
                                                                                        school, along with their parents.
                                                                                        The activities are also intended for the community, i.e.,
                                                                                        the various stakeholders and organizations who support
                                                                                        children and families. A smooth transition to school
Why is the transition to kindergarten                                                   does not depend solely on a child’s ability to adapt but
important?                                                                              also on the capacity of various stakeholders to work
                                                                                        together to meet various needs. [17]
The transition into preschool is an important stage in the
lives of children and their parents. This initial transition is
thought by some to be the most important adaptational
challenge a child will experience during this period. [8]
Having a positive transition to kindergarten is related to a
number of benefits for children, because it:
EE is a determinant factor for future educational                                                      TRANSITION TO
   success; [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]                                                                     KINDERGARTEN
EE leads to better results in literacy and numeracy; [14]                                              ACTIVITIES ARE
EE influences children’s participation, engagement, and
                                                                                                        PLANNED AND
   motivation in classroom and school activities; [15, 2]
EE results in fewer absences and increases children’s
                                                                                                     CARRIED OUT OVER
   openness to learning, leading to better academic and                                               A PERIOD OF JUST
   social results in both the short and long term; [16]                                               OVER 12 MONTHS.
EE serves as a foundation for future transitions. [2]

                                                   THE TRANSITION         7        TO KINDERGARTEN
Jocelyn Riendeau

                   SECTION 2

                   ENCOURAGING
                   FAMILY
                   PARTICIPATION
                   WHO SPECIFICALLY BENEFITS FROM
                   TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN
                   ACTIVITIES?
                   Research shows that certain groups of children have a higher                                      RESEARCH SHOWS
                   risk of experiencing challenges related to starting school:
                                                                                                                       THAT CHILDREN
                   EE Children from families living in vulnerable
                      circumstances; c [8]
                                                                                                                       FROM FAMILIES
                   EE Children who experience learning or developmental
                                                                                                                   LIVING IN VULNERABLE
                      problems; [18]                                                                             CIRCUMSTANCES ARE MOST
                   EE Children with handicaps, social maladjustments or                                          IN NEED OF TRANSITION TO
                      learning difficulties (HSMLD); [18]                                                        KINDERGARTEN ACTIVITIES
                   EE Children who have recently immigrated to Québec. [18]                                       AND BENEFIT MOST FROM
                                                                                                                     THESE ACTIVITIES,
                   Experience in the field has led to the addition
                   of two other groups:d
                                                                                                                   BUT ACTUALLY RECEIVE
                                                                                                                      THEM THE LEAST.
                   EE Certain children who have not attended an educational                                                     [9, 13, 16, 19]
                      childcare service;
                   EE Certain children who have turned 5 over the summer.

                   c
                       The term “families living in vulnerable circumstances” refers to families in precarious socioeconomic conditions,
                       who are more isolated, or who use services infrequently.
                   d
                       Information obtained from preschool teachers during a first school transition assessment conducted among
                       stakeholders of the Val-Saint-François MRC in 2017.

                                                               THE TRANSITION         8        TO KINDERGARTEN
MOST CHILDREN
HOW CAN CHILDREN AND PARENTS
                                                                               ?
                                                                                                                    OF FAMILIES LIVING
LIVING IN VULNERABLE SITUATIONS                                                                                       IN VULNERABLE
BE ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE IN                                                                                    CIRCUMSTANCES TEND
                                                                                                                  TO HAVE A FAVOURABLE
ACTIVITIES?                                                                                                       IMPRESSION OF SCHOOL
Adapting activities to reduce barriers to participation is key.                                                       UPON ENTERING
                                                                                                                     KINDERGARTEN.[10]
Outreach is needed to attract families living in vulnerable
circumstances to participate in activities, but it is also essential
                                                                                                            TAKE
that the activities be a positive experience. This will encourage                                       ADVANTAGE OF
them to take part in other activities, and, through word of mouth,                                    THIS FAVOURABLE
attract other families from their entourage.                                                           IMPRESSION AND
                                                                                                       OFFER CHILDREN
                                                                                                       ACTIVITIES THAT
                                                                                                         SUPPORT AND
                                                                                                        MAINTAIN THIS
                                                                                                      POSITIVE ATTITUDE
                                                                                                      TOWARD SCHOOL.
Based on taking a local approach, a number of factors
encourage participation, particularly among families
living in vulnerable circumstances: [29, 30, 31, 32]

Accessibility                                                                    If the activity requires participants
                                                                                 to register beforehand
EE Offer free or low-cost activities.
                                                                                 EE Limit the amount of information gathered on the
EE Assist with transportation (financial or organizational).
                                                                                    registration form.
EE Offer a snack.
                                                                                 EE Forward the registration form to intersectoral stakeholders
EE Offer childcare services (for younger or older children).                        so they assist with registration for the families they serve.
                                                                                 EE Allow parents to provide registration information verbally.
Commitment                                                                       EE Allow different methods of registration (e.g., online,
EE Do not require a commitment to take part in many                                 telephone).
   activities.
EE Keep expectations realistic and avoid setting parents up                      During the activity
   for failure (e.g., giving them “homework” before or after                     EE Use simple vocabulary without being demeaning.
   the activity, or requiring regular attendance at a series of                  EE Avoid handing out written material.
   activities).                                                                  EE Tell parents more positive things than negative things.
                                                                                 EE Have a positive attitude toward the child (avoid making the
Communication                                                                       parent feel that their child is being labelled).
Adapt advertising                                                                EE Contact organizations that work with immigrant families
EE Keep text to a minimum and favour images.                                        for access to interpreters.
EE Use simple language and short sentences.
EE Disseminate information in languages used in the                              Assistance
   neighbourhood or territory (e.g., English, Spanish, Dari,                     EE   Personally remind parents shortly before the activity
   Arabic).                                                                           begins to reduce barriers to participation (e.g., by solving
EE Emphasize conditions that will elicit participation (e.g.,                         transportation problems).
   transportation assistance, child care services, free of
   charge).                                                                      Acknowledgement
EE Use a diversity of promotional strategies for each activity.                  EE Recognize the abilities and knowledge of all parents,
EE Post information in locations frequented by families (e.g.,                      emphasize the successes of parents living in vulnerable
   social networks, corner stores, waiting rooms, groceries,                        circumstances, and recognize what they can teach other
   stores).                                                                         parents. Give them credibility.
EE Personally invite certain parents, and explain the activity’s                 EE Do not set yourself up as an expert.
   benefit for them or their children; take the time to check
   for barriers to participation and offer solutions if necessary                Intersectoral cooperation
   (e.g., transportation). Examples of benefits: a chance to
   meet the teacher or a chance to meet future friends.                          EE   Collaborate with intersectoral stakeholders who have
                                                                                      already created bonds of trust with families (e.g.,
                                                                                      assistance with promotion, referrals, guidance).

                                                    THE TRANSITION         9        TO KINDERGARTEN
SECTION 3

            SCIENTIFIC
            KNOWLEDGE
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                        THE TRANSITION         10        TO KINDERGARTEN
?
                                     WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US?
            To identify key findings and the characteristics of effective activities for supporting the transition
              to kindergarten, we conducted a comparative analysis of the scientific literature published in
            the past 10 years. The contents are organized according to the ecological systems model. [20] This
             was the most frequently cited model in the literature and is already in use by many intersectoral
           stakeholders in the early childhood sector.e Information about the child, family, and community will
          be presented, in that order. Examples of practices related to this science-based information will also
            be presented and organized around the five key moments for transition to kindergarten activities.
          e
              Stakeholders working with local early childhood partner groups supported by Avenir d’enfants have used the ecological systems
                                                      model to orient their local priorities and actions.

                                                                COMMUNITY

                                                                      FAMILY

                                                                        CHILD

                                                KEY MOMENTS
                                                                        AFTER                              AROUND
    PRE-                           DURING                          REGISTRATION                                                       AFTER
                                                                    BUT BEFORE                             THE TIME                  SCHOOL
REGISTRATION                   REGISTRATION                                                                SCHOOL
                                                                      SCHOOL
                                                                                                            STARTS
                                                                                                                                     STARTS
                                                                      STARTS

  August to December              January to February                 March to June                        July to September      October to November

                                                        THE TRANSITION         11        TO KINDERGARTEN
LEGEND
                                                                                       E   = Education sector                                                      M    = Municipal sector

            Child
                                                                                       C   = Educational childcare services sector                                 B    = Business sector
                                                                                       F   = Family community services sector                                      O    = Other organization
                                                                                       H   = Health and social services sector                                     A    = All

                                                EXAMPLES OF INSPIRING PRACTICES ORGANIZED BY KEY MOMENTS AND SECTORS CONCERNED

SCIENTIFIC                   AVANT
                              PRE-                          LORS
                                                            DURING
                                                                 DE
                                                                                                       AFTER
                                                                                                       APRÈS
                                                                                                   REGISTRATION
                                                                                                   L’ADMISSION,
                                                                                                                                                AROUND
                                                                                                                                              AUTOUR
                                                                                                                                                THE TIMEDE
                                                                                                                                                                                          AFTER
                                                                                                                                                                                        APRÈS
                                                                                                                                                                                         SCHOOLLA
KNOWLEDGE                 REGISTRATION
                          L’ADMISSION                    REGISTRATION
                                                         L’ADMISSION                                 BUT
                                                                                                  SCHOOL
                                                                                                         BEFORELA
                                                                                                  MAIS AVANT
                                                                                                           STARTS
                                                                                                      RENTRÉE
                                                                                                                                              LASCHOOL
                                                                                                                                                 RENTRÉE
                                                                                                                                                STARTS
                                                                                                                                                                                        RENTRÉE
                                                                                                                                                                                         STARTS

                                                                                     For families or children with
                                                                                     special needs, set up an individual
                                           Greet each child warmly when they         meeting involving the teacher,
While group                                register for school. E                    parent, child, and trusted partner
activities generate
positive results,[21]                                                                as soon as possible before school
                                           Set up a table with games, toys,          starts. E
individual activities
                                           drawings, and books for the
are even more
beneficial. [13]                           child to explore while the parent         Establish personal contact
                                           completes the forms. E                    between the teacher and the
                                                                                     family either by phone, mail, or
                                                                                     email before school starts. E

The activity will
be more effective        Provide assistance for families to encourage participation in activities.   E     C        F   H   O
if offered before
school starts. [22]

It is important to       Offer activities targeted at the characteristics and needs of families. It is sometimes easier for a family living in vulnerable circumstances
offer the activities     to take part in a group initiative with other families experiencing similar situations. E C F H
to children from
families living
in vulnerable
circumstances. [22]                                                                  Offer personalized transition plans for children with specific needs.              E   C   F   H

In the experiments
conducted so far,
girls tend to be more
                         Enrich and adjust activities according to gender-specific characteristics. For example, for child-teacher meetings, use games involving motor
receptive than boys
to activities aimed      skills for boys or more active children. A
at the child-teacher
relationship. [15]

Activities offered
directly to children     Offer activities that directly involve the child, such as classroom visits or activities with the teacher and parent before classes start.             A
are those with the
greatest impact. [13]

It is important to       Open up schools so that community activities can be held both inside and on the school grounds. Examples include town
introduce children       festivities, evening sports events, or movie nights in the gym. A
to their new
environment before
the official start of                                                                                                           Offer a summer camp before
school. [11]
                                                                                                                                school starts. E M
Activities carried out
in the school have a
greater impact than
those that take place    Ask educational authorities to hold activities in schools (e.g., activities organized by educational childcare services in the school, parent/pre-schooler
elsewhere. [15]
                         activities organized by community organizations offered in the school’s gym or cafeteria, etc.). A

                                                                                                                                             RESEARCH
                                                                                                                                            SHOWS THAT
                                                                                                                                         CHILDREN FROM
                                                                                                                                         FAMILIES LIVING
                                                                                                                                          IN VULNERABLE
                                                                                                                                    CIRCUMSTANCES ARE MOST
                                                                                                                                    IN NEED OF TRANSITION TO
                                                                                                                                    KINDERGARTEN ACTIVITIES
                                                                                                                                     AND BENEFIT MOST FROM
                                                                                                                                        THESE ACTIVITIES,
                                                                                                                                      BUT ACTUALLY RECEIVE
                                                                                                                                         THEM THE LEAST.
                                                                                                                                                      [9, 13, 16, 19]
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LEGEND
                                                                                                    E   = Education sector                                                M     = Municipal sector

         Family
                                                                                                    C   = Educational childcare services sector                           B     = Business sector
                                                                                                    F   = Family community services sector                                O     = Other organization
                                                                                                    H   = Health and social services sector                               A     = All

                                                                  EXAMPLES OF INSPIRING PRACTICES ORGANIZED BY KEY MOMENTS AND SECTORS CONCERNED

SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
                                                                                                                                  AFTER
                                                                                                                                  APRÈS                            AROUND                         AFTER
                                                  AVANT
                                                   PRE-                                 LORS
                                                                                        DURING
                                                                                             DE                               REGISTRATION
                                                                                                                              L’ADMISSION,                       AUTOUR
                                                                                                                                                                   THE TIMEDE                   APRÈS
                                                                                                                                                                                                 SCHOOLLA
                                               REGISTRATION
                                               L’ADMISSION                           REGISTRATION
                                                                                     L’ADMISSION                                BUT BEFORELA
                                                                                                                             MAIS AVANT                          LASCHOOL
                                                                                                                                                                    RENTRÉE                     RENTRÉE
                                                                                                                             SCHOOL   STARTS
                                                                                                                                 RENTRÉE                           STARTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                 STARTS

Parents play a vital role in a
successful transition to                  Inform parents about the start of school and how school works so that they are equipped to reassure their children and, at times, be
kindergarten. [9, 13, 22]                 reassured themselves. A
Families that feel prepared for           In preparing children who have stayed at home to enter school, engage with the parents to provide support, especially in identifying the
the start of school have a positive       child’s strengths and challenges. E C F H O
influence on the experience of
children in their first days of           Promote parental involvement in an activity by referring to the needs of the child and the parents. Focus on how the activity will
school. [23]
                                          support them. E C F H O
Parents need to understand the
expectations of the school system         Respond to parental needs (e.g., adjust to changes in their emotional intimacy with the child, adjust to fewer interactions with the
and their child’s strengths and           adult responsible for the child, better understanding of how the school operates, etc.). E C F H O
challenges with starting school. [12]
To support parental participation,
talk about the child’s needs rather       Promote activities in conjunction with other stakeholders. This allows each stakeholder to discuss the various activities
than their negative behaviour. [22]       with parents and determine which best meets the needs of themselves and their parents. A
An activity’s effects will be greater
if the parents take part of their own     Assist certain families when registering for school and taking part in activities (e.g., personalized classroom visits).
accord or voluntarily. [22]                C     F    H       O

Parental support may be
compromised if the parent receives
negative messages about their child                                 Heighten communication between the school and families with children who have trouble adapting to school
in the first weeks of school. [22]                                  in order to work more closely with the parents. É

                                                                                                                   Suggest a home visit to
                                                                                                                   certain targeted families, if
According to Pianta’s criteria, the                                                                                possible in conjunction with
most effective initiative is having the
                                                                                                                   stakeholders that already
teacher visit the child’s home. [9]
                                                                                                                   have a relationship with the
                                                                                                                   families. E F H

The number of activities targeting
school transition positively affects      Offer a number of different activities at various times of the year so that every family can find at least one that meets their needs.                     A

parental involvement. Parental            Discuss the transition to kindergarten during group or individual meetings with families whose children are entering the transition
involvement in turn has an effect on
                                          period. C F H O
the child’s academic results. [22]

A family routine promotes a smooth
school transition, since it better        Help families set a routine before and during the transition to kindergarten (e.g., fixed mealtimes, regular bedtimes, having a parent
prepares children for the structure       read to the child as part of the bedtime routine, etc.). C F H O
and rules of a classroom. The family
routine during this adaptation period     Before school starts, let parents know the school’s expectations in terms of snacks, lunches, dress code, rules, etc.                     C   F   H   O
is also beneficial to parents. [26]

It is important to offer activities       Avoid gaps or an oversupply of activities by working in concert with intersectoral stakeholders. This way, there will be activities
for parents and children that differ      available to meet families’ needs regardless of their situations. A
in terms of intensity, involvement,
schedule, and design (individual,         Focus on offering a variety of activities to reach as many families as possible. For example, offer short-duration activities but offer
group, personalized, etc.) to better      them frequently; offer virtual meetings, Facebook meetings; offer meetings in the morning and the evening; offer closed groups for
meet their needs. [16]                    certain families; etc. A

Effective transition activities
promote positive social relationships
and interactions between key                                        Use a communication tool that facilitates communication among
stakeholders – educator, teacher, and                               educators, parents, and teachers, as this promotes a successful
parents. [24]                                                       transition to kindergarten and helps children adapt by fostering
Cooperation and communication                                       service continuity (e.g., Mon Portrait, Passage à l’école, La passerelle);
among families, childcare services,                                  E   C   F   H
and schools is a key condition for a
successful school transition. [24]

                                                                                                                                                        Establish more regular communication
                                                                                                                                                        with families living in vulnerable
                                                                                                                                                        circumstances, especially in the initial
                                                                                                                                                        weeks, which often go well, in order to
Families living in vulnerable
circumstances require special                                                                                                                           create a relationship (e.g., short, positive
attention, particularly in terms of                                                                                                                     phone call to the home, a note about
communication. [9]                                                                                                                                      positive points in a comments notebook).
Teachers see communication with                                                                                                                         Depending on the family’s needs, weekly
parents as a positive factor in their                                                                                                                   and sometimes daily communication may
relationship with students. [25]                                                                                                                        be necessary. E F H

                                          In communications, use clear writing, short sentences, translations into several languages if necessary, photographs,
                                          and pictograms, etc. A

                                                                                                                   Offer personalized options to certain families to better meet
It is more effective to have the child                                                                             their needs and encourage participation. Conducting an activity
visit the kindergarten classroom with                                                                              involving the child, parent, and teacher during the classroom
their parents before the first day of                                                                              visit will help establish a positive relationship. If possible have
school. [13, 22]                                                                                                   the child take home a souvenir of the moment (e.g., a photo with
                                                                                                                   the parent and teacher, something they made, etc.). E F H
LEGEND
                                                                                         E   = Education sector                                                       M   = Municipal sector
                                                                                         C   = Educational childcare services sector                                  B   = Business sector
      Community                                                                          F   = Family community services sector                                       O   = Other organization
                                                                                         H   = Health and social services sector                                      A   = All

                                                          EXAMPLES OF INSPIRING PRACTICES ORGANIZED BY KEY MOMENTS AND SECTORS CONCERNED

SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
                                                                                                                    AFTER
                                                                                                                    APRÈS                             AROUND                              AFTER
                                              AVANT
                                               PRE-                          LORS
                                                                             DURING
                                                                                  DE                            REGISTRATION
                                                                                                                L’ADMISSION,                        AUTOUR
                                                                                                                                                      THE TIMEDE                        APRÈS
                                                                                                                                                                                         SCHOOLLA
                                           REGISTRATION
                                           L’ADMISSION                    REGISTRATION
                                                                          L’ADMISSION                             BUT BEFORELA
                                                                                                               MAIS AVANT                           LASCHOOL
                                                                                                                                                       RENTRÉE                          RENTRÉE
                                                                                                               SCHOOL   STARTS
                                                                                                                   RENTRÉE                               STARTS
                                                                                                                                                                                         STARTS

                                         Advocate for the importance of a smooth transition by: A
                                          • Providing training;
                                          • Valuing the role of everyone involved in welcoming children and parents (e.g., secretary, monitor, educators, service workers, etc.);
Effective activities rely on strong       • Assembling sufficient human, financial, and material resources to carry out the activities;
leadership to establish policies and
actions that support the school           • Recognizing that planning and implementing activities takes time;
transition. [14]                          • Promoting the implementation of specific activities for certain families;
                                          • Supporting joint action and authorizing the participation of intersectoral school transition committees.
                                         Ensure that the local education sector plays a leadership role among other sectors in supporting joint action around activities to
                                         promote a smooth school transition in the area. E

                                                                                                       Give teachers more
                                                                                                       time to prepare
Providing teachers with a list
                                                                                                       personalized activities,
of students early in the year
allows them to carry out more                                                                          invite families, and
personalized activities for parents                                                                    adapt to the needs of
and students. [27]                                                                                     children from families
                                                                                                       living in vulnerable
                                                                                                       circumstances. E

Having an intersectoral school
                                         Establish a school committee or network to carry out a collaborative transition plan, ensure that activities are planned jointly,
transition plan promotes the
consistency and diversity of             make sure that activities are coordinated and diverse. The committee should include at least one parent to provide a
activities. [11]                         parental point of view. A > See the section on working collaboratively (p. 20).

Promoting activities through the
community (municipal celebrations,       Make use of venues frequented by parents in the community (e.g., corner stores,
groceries, libraries, municipal          hospitals, promotional screens, libraries, drug stores, big-box stores, social
housing offices, etc.) is a factor in    networks, etc.). A
activities’ success. [14]

Communication among educators
at childcare centres and school          Recognize the specific expertise of educators and teachers in a complementary,
teachers appears to have the             egalitarian, and non-competitive vision (e.g., organize a happy hour for
greatest effect                          educators and teachers). A
on children’s social skills in           Initiate activities that help teachers and educators get to know one another or
kindergarten. [13]                       improve lines of communication as a way to help children adapt: E C F H
Support, mutual respect, trust, and
a shared vision among childcare          • Have educators and children visit the preschool class;
centre educators and school              • Have teachers visit the childcare centre;
teachers are key factors in aligning
the goals of childcare centres and       • Create communications tools (e.g., Mon Portrait, Passage à l’école, La
schools. [27]                              passerelle);
In communications between                • Have teachers and educators meet to discuss strategies for supporting a
childcare educators and teachers,          specific child.
prioritize discussion of the
education program, pedagogy, and         Hold meetings and discussions among teachers and educators to ensure that
the characteristics of children. [27]    each party has a good understanding of the other’s program. E C

                                                                                                                                   Advocate a progressive start to school
                                                                                                                                   to support contact between students
                                                                                                                                   and teachers and help students adapt
                                                                                                                                   during the first days of school. E
                                                                                                                                   Focus on full days with half-sized
A low student/teacher ratio                                                                                                        groups so they can experience a
facilitates the implementation of                                                                                                  complete routine, including lunch.
activities. [27]                                                                                                                   Take this opportunity to visit all areas
                                                                                                                                   of the school. E
                                                                                                                                   If students attend afterschool
                                                                                                                                   childcare, take this into account
                                                                                                                                   in coordinating services and a
                                                                                                                                   progressive start to school. E

Teacher training on school transition
supports the implementation of
activities. [14]
                                         Provide training to support partnerships, promote consistency, and implement cooperative activities and communication tools.                    A
Joint training among childcare
educators and kindergarten teachers      Provide frequent and annual updates for stakeholders involved in the transition to kindergarten.       A
promotes knowledge sharing and
helps to develop a shared vision of
school transition. [14]

Having a transition team in the
                                         Form a school transition team in charge of planning, partnering in, and implementing activities.      E     C      F     H
school in charge of coordination
supports the success of activities.[9]   > See the section on working collaboratively (p. 20).
HOW TO KNOW IF A
            SCHOOL TRANSITION
            IS SUCCESSFUL?
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                    THE TRANSITION         18        TO KINDERGARTEN
The teacher creates a
                                          respectful environment in
                                          the classroom.                [18]

                                           The teacher values individual differences and
                                           cultural diversity.
                                           The teacher employs a range of experiences
                                           suitable for development.
                                           The community provides support by creating
                                           positive transition experiences through
COMMUNITY                                  greater cooperation and coordination among
                                           intersectoral stakeholders.

 FAMILY

                                          Parents take a positive
                                          attitude toward school
                                          and their child’s learning.                      [18]

  CHILD                                    They play an active role at school, according
                                           to their abilities.
                                           They have an opportunity to take part in
                                           decisions concerning their child.
                                           They have good lines of communication
                                           with the teacher and others involved in the
                                           transition.

                                         The child is engaged in,
                                         enjoys, and looks forward
                                         to going to school.                   [18]

                                          They have a positive attitude toward learning,
                                          school, their teachers, and their peers.
                                          They retain their learning.
                                          They acquire new academic and social skills.

      THE TRANSITION         19        TO KINDERGARTEN
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            SECTION 4

            WORKING
             COLLABORATIVELY

            WHY WORK
            COLLABORATIVELY?
            A child’s transition to school concerns the entire community.
            For children to be ready for school, it is essential that there be
            “‘ready schools,’ ‘ready families,’ and ‘ready communities.’” [16]                    COOPERATION
            Intersectoral stakeholders supporting the transition to                                 AMONG
            kindergarten all have a role to play. However, despite                               STAKEHOLDERS
            existing methods for cooperation, many stakeholders
            observe:                                                                          IS A KEY FACTOR IN
            EE A lack of connections and information sharing;
                                                                                            CREATING CONTINUITY
            EE The interruption of certain child and family services                        AMONG EDUCATIONAL
               when the child enters school;                                                 EXPERIENCES. [18] THIS
            EE Stakeholders’ lack of understanding of their                                    IS WHY IT IS VITAL
               counterparts’ realities. [18]
                                                                                               TO KNOW ALL THE
            Cooperation among stakeholders is a key factor in creating                        PLAYERS INVOLVED.
            continuity among educational experiences. [18] This is why it is
            vital to know all the players involved.

                                             THE TRANSITION       20      TO KINDERGARTEN
WHO ARE
                                       INTERSECTORAL
                                                  STAKEHOLDERS?
                                    For a more comprehensive description of the various sectors and
                                                    stakeholders, see Appendix A.

                          FAMILY                                                EDUCATION
                        COMMUNITY                                                 SECTOR                                EDUCATIONAL
                      SERVICES SECTOR                                             School board                       CHILDCARE SERVICES
                       Family Services Centre                                  Elementary school                           SECTOR
                      Maison des Grands-Parents                              School childcare service                Early childhood centre (CPE)
                           de Sherbrooke                                                                                    Family daycare
                                 Etc.                                                                                Family daycare coordination
                                                                                                                                bureau
                                                                                                                                Daycare

    OTHER  SECTORS,
  STAKEHOLDERS, AND                                   CHILD                                      PARENTS
    ORGANIZATIONS
       Community officer                                                                                                       HEALTH AND SOCIAL
Accommodation with psychosocial
         service worker                                                                                                         SERVICES SECTOR
         Literacy centre                                                                                                           CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS
    Immigration organization                                                                                                       Family medicine group
               Etc.                                                                                                                     Private clinic

                                         MUNICIPAL
                                          SECTOR                                               BUSINESS SECTOR
                                           Municipality
                                                MRC                                                     Businesses
                                          Municipal library
                                                Etc.

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                                                              THE TRANSITION         21        TO KINDERGARTEN
WORKING
COLLABORATIVELY

                                                                                 PRIMARY CONTRIBUTIONS
WHAT CAN EACH

                                                                                                                                           BUSINESS SECTOR
                                                                                                             SOCIAL SERVICES

                                                                                                                                                             ORGANIZATIONS
                                                                                  EDUCATIONAL

                                                                                                                                                              SECTORS AND
                                                                                                               HEALTH AND
                                                                                                 COMMUNITY
                                                                  EDUCATION

                                                                                   CHILDCARE

                                                                                                                               MUNICIPAL
                                                                                    SERVICES

                                                                                                  SERVICES
SECTOR CONTRIBUTE

                                                                    SECTOR

                                                                                                                                SECTOR
                                                                                                   FAMILY

                                                                                                                                                                 OTHER
TO THE TRANSITION TO
KINDERGARTEN?
ENGAGE IN COLLABORATIVE
ROUNDTABLES
Be involved, regularly or on a case-by-case basis,
in roundtables in order to share expertise and work
together to improve the transition to kindergarten.

RAISE AWARENESS OF THE IMPORTANCE
OF THE TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN
Have the power to spread the message of the
importance of the transition to kindergarten in
children’s educational success.

PROMOTE ACTIVITIES
Circulate information to encourage children
and parents to take part in activities aimed at a
successful school transition.

IDENTIFY CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
AND THEIR PARENTS
Use close relationships with children and parents to
target children or families who face challenges.

CONTRIBUTE TO AN OVERALL PICTURE OF
CHILDREN
Be sufficiently engaged with children and their
parents to gather relevant information about children.

SUPPORT PARENTS TO IDENTIFY THEIR
NEEDS
Talk with parents in order to identify their needs and
those of their children with respect to starting school
in order to better select suitable activities.

PROVIDE PARENTS WITH GUIDANCE
Help parents by providing guidance and lowering
barriers for individual or group initiatives aimed at a
successful school transition.

IMPLEMENT AN ACTIVITY
Be able to implement an initiative either jointly or
individually.

COOPERATE IN ACTIVITIES
Contribute to the implementation of activities. This
contribution provides added value to transition to
kindergarten activities.

                                                       THE TRANSITION         22      TO KINDERGARTEN
WORKING
                                                                                                                        COLLABORATIVELY

WHAT ARE THE                                                                        The benefits of working with the
                                                                                    HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
BENEFITS OF                                                                         SECTOR include:
WORKING WITH                                                                        EE    Leadership in creating personalized transition plans
DIFFERENT SECTORS?                                                                        for specific clients (autism spectrum, intellectual
                                                                                          disability, physical disability, etc.);
Each sector involved in the transition to kindergarten has a                        EE    Ability to raise awareness, to inform, and
specific and vital contribution to make. Joint efforts build                              provide guidance to families living in vulnerable
capacity to meet the needs of all children and their parents.                             circumstances;
Improving activities that support a successful school transition                    EE    Ability to support the school transition by orienting
relies on using everyone’s strengths and working together.                                and providing services to children and families;
                                                                                    EE    Support in creating and transferring relationships
                                                                                          among children, families, and teachers;
                                                                                    EE    Expertise in specific problems;
  The benefits of working with the
                                                                                    EE    Others.
  EDUCATION SECTOR include:
  EE   Leadership in consensus building;
  EE   Leadership in creating school/community
       partnerships;
  EE   Support in providing liaison, in communications, and                         The benefits of working with the
       in activity organization;
                                                                                    MUNICIPAL SECTOR include:
  EE   Access to schools for activities carried out by other
       sectors;                                                                      EE   Ability to contact many families to help raise
                                                                                          awareness of and promote activities that support the
  EE   Support in opening schools after class hours or on                                 transition to kindergarten;
       weekends;
                                                                                     EE   Established partnerships between schools and the
  EE   Others.                                                                            municipality to hold recreational or municipal events
                                                                                          in schools that give families a chance to become
                                                                                          familiar with the school environment;
                                                                                     EE   Ability to act, in conjunction with schools, to set up
                                                                                          school transition summer camps;
  The benefits of working with the                                                   EE   Ability to spread the message of the importance of the
  EDUCATION CHILDCARE SERVICES                                                            school transition and integrate it into its family policy;
  SECTOR include:                                                                    EE   Ability to support and promote school transition
                                                                                          activities through the municipal library;
  EE   Support in creating and transferring relationships
       among children, families, and teachers;                                       EE   Others.
  EE   Ability to identify children and families with special
       needs/challenges;
  EE   Ability to inform and reassure parents about the
       transition to kindergarten (activities, expectations of
       school, etc.);                                                               The benefits of working with the
  EE   Ability to identify avenues of intervention that help                        BUSINESS SECTOR include:
       children integrate into the school environment;                               EE   Support, through work/life balance measures, for
  EE   Others.                                                                            enhancing the participation of parent employees in
                                                                                          transition to kindergarten activities;
                                                                                     EE   Ability to raise awareness and offer promotional
                                                                                          opportunities to reach numerous parents;
                                                                                     EE   Others.
  The benefits of working with the
  FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICES
  SECTOR include:
  EE   Ability to raise awareness among, inform, and guide                          The benefits of working with
       families that rarely use services or whose children                          OTHER SECTORS AND ORGANIZATIONS
       have not attended an educational childcare centre;
                                                                                    include:
  EE   Support in understanding the needs of families living
       in vulnerable circumstances and of how best to                                EE   Ability to recognize, raise awareness, inform, and guide
       approach them;                                                                     families experiencing various problems or challenges
                                                                                          with respect to the transition to kindergarten;
  EE   Others.
                                                                                     EE   Others.

                                                    THE TRANSITION         23      TO KINDERGARTEN
WORKING
            COLLABORATIVELY

            WHY CREATE
            TERRITORIAL
            INTERSECTORAL
                                                     ?                                  What is a collaborative
                                                                                        school transition plan?
                                                                                        A collaborative school transition plan must come out of
                                                                                        an intersectoral process. Its goal is to align practices and
                                                                                        support collective efforts in order to improve activities and
            COMMITTEES FOR                                                              meet all the needs of children and their parents, in particular
                                                                                        those living in vulnerable circumstances.
            THE TRANSITION TO
            KINDERGARTEN?                                                               A collaborative school transition plan:
                                                                                        EE Confirms a shared vision of the transition to kindergarten;
            Cooperation requires a forum for discussion and
                                                                                        EE Validates and specifies the concerns and priorities
            sharing around a common goal. We therefore
            recommend forming intersectoral committees                                     conveyed by the territorial transition committee;
            to build consensus around the transition to                                 EE Comes together around an approach that fosters the
            kindergarten. Local roundtables around school                                  participation of families;
            transition     around   school     transition    have                       EE Analyzes the diversity, strengths, redundancies, lacks, or
            demonstrated the need for all sectors to have                                  gaps in services for the transition to kindergarten;
            representation at the table in order to open lines                          EE Specifies partnerships and respective roles for activities;
            of communication, facilitate the organization of
                                                                                        EE Supports best school transition practices.
            activities, and encourage families to participate.
            Several territorial school transition committees                            To help in creating an overview of existing activities, a model
            exist already in the Estrie region. The authors                             analysis chart appears in Appendix B. You can also consult
            suggest various roundtable models, in                                       a model of activities resulting from a collaborative school
            particular    the    Montérégie     reference                               transition plan in Appendix C.
            framework for a smooth school transition,
            which offers a model adapted for
            Québec. [17]
                                                                                        What are the factors that promote
                                                                                        cooperation and intersectoral partnerships?
                                                                                        Working collaboratively across sectors has certain
                                                                                        challenges. Intersectoral committees in charge of school
                                                                                        transition plans will find that the following factors boost
                                                                                        efficacy:
                                                                                        EE Having a shared vision of the transition to kindergarten;

                                                                                        EE Bringing together all school transition stakeholders;

                                                                                        EE Clarifying each player’s role (contribution and value-add);
                                                                                        EE Recognizing each player’s expertise within an egalitarian
                                                                                           perspective;
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                                                                                        EE Creating a working climate that promotes discussion and
                                                                                           cooperation;
                                                                                        EE Establishing effective methods of communication;

                                                                                        EE Sharing responsibilities;

                                                                                        EE Ensuring that there are sufficient financial, human, and
                                                                                           material resources to put activities in place;
                                                                                        EE Putting in place an evaluation process or producing a
                                                                                           post-mortem.

                                                                                        A list of questions to support intersectoral cooperation
                                                                                        appears in Appendix D.

                                                               THE TRANSITION       24      TO KINDERGARTEN
WORKING
                                                                                                              COLLABORATIVELY

What are the conditions that support the                                   What are the barriers to implementing
implementation of activities?                                              transition activities?
The Guide for Supporting a Successful School Transition                    To create optimal conditions for implementing activities
(MELS, MFA, MSSS, 2010) is an excellent resource that                      over the long term, it is vital to eliminate any barriers, which
outlines and explains six broad principles supporting                      include:
successful transition practices: [2]                                       EE Lack of funding to compensate for the extra work
1. Recognizing that parents are primarily responsible for their               (preparation time, consultative meetings, facilitation);
   children’s education;                                                   EE Lack of communication among stakeholders both within
2. Sharing responsibility for a successful transition among                   organizations (service workers and managers) and across
   stakeholders through collaborative practices;                              sectors;
3. Continuously planning, organizing and assessing transition              EE Late registrations;
   activities;                                                             EE Difficulty in reaching families living in vulnerable
4. Recognizing the time required and providing the necessary                  circumstances; [6, 24]
   resources;                                                              EE Lack of parental participation in the transition process. [8]
5. Involving everyone who knows the child and tailoring
   transition practices to the child;
6. Recognizing that starting school is a determining factor in
   the child’s development.

                                                      ?
                                                HOW CAN I PROMOTE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE
                                                TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN
                                                IN MY ORGANIZATION?
                                                Every organization can improve its practices and partnership efforts in
            MOBILIZATION                        supporting the transition to kindergarten. Within organizations, mobilization can
                                                be driven by both managers and front-line workers. Here are some suggestions
               CAN BE                           that can be implemented within an organization:
           DRIVEN BY BOTH                       EE Raise awareness of the importance of the transition to kindergarten by sharing
           MANAGERS AND                            and presenting existing documentation on the topic;
             FRONT-LINE                         EE Request training that specifically covers the transition to kindergarten;

                                                EE Create or sit on a school transition committee in order to coordinate activities;
              WORKERS.
                                                EE Draw up an annual overview of activities;

                                                EE Reflect on how to improve activities by incorporating scientifically proven
                                                   features (see Section 3: Scientific Knowledge);
                                                EE Reflect on how to improve various aspects of activities (promotion,
                                                   encouragement to participate, partnership, diversity, connection with
                                                   vulnerable families, needs of families, etc.);
                                                EE Discuss activities to support the transition to kindergarten during staff
                                                   meetings;
                                                EE Appoint a liaison officer to sit on local transition committees and relay
                                                   information.

                                                  THE TRANSITION       25      TO KINDERGARTEN
SECTION 5

                   EXAMPLES OF
                   COLLABORATIVE                                                 THIS SECTION
                                                                                   DESCRIBES
                                                                                 EXAMPLES OF

                   ACTIVITIES                                                 ACTIVITIES CARRIED
                                                                              OUT IN PARTNERSHIP f

                   IN THE ESTRIE
                                                                                 IN THE ESTRIE
                                                                                    REGION.

                   REGION
Jocelyn Riendeau

                               THE TRANSITION       26      TO KINDERGARTEN
EXAMPLES OF
                                                                                                                                COOPERATIVE ACTIVITIES
                                                                                                                                  IN THE ESTRIE REGION

PICNIC FOR FUTURE KINDERGARTEN                                                               COMMUNICATION TOOLS BETWEEN
STUDENTS                                                                                     THE EDUCATIONAL CHILDCARE
                               EDUCATIONAL CHILDCARE       FAMILY COMMUNITY
                                                                                             SECTOR AND THE EDUCATION SECTOR
       EDUCATION SECTOR               SECTOR                SERVICES SECTOR                                          EDUCATIONAL CHILDCARE      FAMILY COMMUNITY
                                                                                                  EDUCATION SECTOR          SECTOR               SERVICES SECTOR
Teachers from several schools in the Commission scolaire
de la Région-de-Sherbrooke (CSRS) invite children and                                            HEALTH AND SOCIAL
their parents to a family picnic in the schoolyard during a                                       SERVICES SECTOR
day of classes or a professional development day in June.
Neighbourhood childcare centres and staff from community                                    Early childhood partnership groups in the MRCs of
organizations (e.g., Amis du quartier, Réseau d’appui aux                                   Memphrémagog, Des Sources, Du Granit, Haut-Saint-
familles monoparentales et recomposées de l’Estrie [RAME])                                  François, and Coaticook developed a method of transmitting
help promote the activity and are allowed to attend the                                     information about a child’s development. The tool collects
picnic along with parents. Several activities are organized to                              information on the child’s development, strengths, and
create a welcoming atmosphere, such as story-telling, face-                                 challenges, along with successful strategies for working with
painting, and physical games. The informal setting allows                                   the child. The tool is completed in May or June by educators,
teachers to make individual contact with each child and their                               family daycare centre managers, significant service workers,
family. At the end of the activity, each child is lent or given a                           and parents. With the parents’ permission, it is sent to school
book, which they can present in class during the first days of                              staff to foster continuity in the educational services received
school. The child will also reencounter the play equipment                                  by children.
they explored during the picnic (e.g., tunnels, rings, balls,
stilts, etc.).

PREPARATION FOR gAND TRANSITION                                                              ONGOING PRESENCE OF THE SIPPE
TO KINDERGARTEN                                                                              EDUCATOR WHEN A CHILD ENTERS
                                SANTÉ ET DES SERVICES
                                                                                             SCHOOL
       EDUCATION SECTOR               SOCIAUX                                                                          HEALTH AND SOCIAL
                                                                                                  EDUCATION SECTOR      SERVICES SECTOR
The intellectual deficiency, autism spectrum disorder, and
physical disability program of the Centre intégré universitaire                             At CIUSSS de l’Estrie - CHUS and at the CSRS, families using
de santé et services sociaux de l’Estrie - Centre hospitalier                               Integrated Perinatal and Early Childhood Services (SIPPE)
universitaire de Sherbrooke (CIUSSS de l’Estrie - CHUS)                                     receive special support. If a child starting school has special
created a program to support the transition to school. The                                  needs, the special needs educator assigned to the family will
program involves forming groups of children, based on their                                 continue to monitor the child until October 1. This support is
profiles and needs, and to work on abilities and skills that                                aimed at helping both parents and children adapt to starting
will help them adapt to the school environment. Activities                                  school. The educator already knows the child and the family
with the children are carried out in a school over the summer                               and has previously established a relationship of trust, and
before the school starts in order to best reflect a real school                             is thus a key person for sharing information that will help
setting. Currently, CIUSSS de l’Estrie - CHUS is working with                               the child adapt to school. With the parents’ permission, the
the CSRS and has carried out activities in Sylvestre, Quatre-                               educator may discuss the case with the teacher to facilitate
Vents and Le Touret schools. However, this type of activity                                 the transition if necessary.
could also be offered in other school boards. Since the
activities take place in the school facilities (e.g., classrooms,
gym, schoolyard, etc.) the children familiarize themselves
with the school environment while having fun.

f
    The working committee compiled these examples based on discussions with regional stakeholders and using a chart geared toward activity diversity.
g
    This activity includes both school preparation or “school readiness” and school transition phases.

                                                                THE TRANSITION         27      TO KINDERGARTEN
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